Pressbooks Guide for Educators: Book Organization


This guide offers an overview and introduction to Pressbooks for Boise State and non-Boise State educators. Resources are provided on using Pressbooks to create OER, curricular content, and interactive learning activities.

Book Organization covers how content is organized in a Pressbooks book, and offers some recommendations on best practices.


On the web version of Pressbooks, each "chapter" functions as a single scrollable webpage. When working with a lot of content per-chapter, it is important to consider how the organization of the book will work best for your content and readers using the book.

A publication created in Pressbooks is structured like a standard book with familiar types of sections and chapters:

  • Front Matter (Table of Contents, Acknowledgements, Introduction)

  • Main Body that contains Parts & Chapters

  • Back Matter (Bibliography, Index, etc.)

You can embed limited types of media throughout the chapters in your Pressbooks publication, or have a special section at the end for media objects. In the end, your Pressbooks publication will look like a type-set publication.

Pressbooks automatically creates a title page, copyright page, and table of contents. 


diagram showing structure of a Pressbook
Structure of a Pressbook diagram

One Page Organization



Single-scrolling page

Can be overwhelming when there is too much content

All chapter content is in one place

Can be too busy when text, media, and interactive content is combined

All interactive exercises are embedded in a chapter

With textbooks, it is not as easy to get back to earlier content or review it

To overcome the challenges of the single-scrolling page, you might use Anchors throughout the chapter. Anchors are links that take you to a specific place on the page. These could be placed at the top of a chapter to link to section headings. 

Multi-Chapters as Pages



Reads more like a traditional book

Adds a lot of "chapters," crowding the table of contents and navigation

Content is broken up into pieces, so readers can pick and choose what they want to read

People may skip important content

Items can stand alone (interactive exercises, media, other content)

Needs more thought to structuring up-front 

The multi-chapter method of organization can be made more manageable by using Parts to contain the chapters.